Two week wait.

There’s something I forgot to mention in my post about birth intentions.  It’s less of an intention and more of a decision, anyways: I won’t be induced.

As you know by now, my induction with Bingo at 41 weeks and some days was less than ideal.  It limited my options, restricted my movement, included a series of interventions and complications, involved almost two full days of ouch, and still resulted in a c-section.

I hope that Powerball comes out of my vagina, if only because I’d rather not be recovering from surgery parenting both a toddler and a newborn.  My efforts to make that happen include crossing my fingers and toes, eating all of the pineapple from the fruit tray at a staff meeting, and even making another acupuncture appointment (it turns out I still have some insurance money to spare…)  But if s/he doesn’t take the hint and vacate my uterus soon, my efforts will not include Cervidil or an IV of Pitocin.

Instead, if Powerball doesn’t want to be born, we’ll skip the middle step and jump right to a planned c-section.  So planned, in fact, that we scheduled it at our last visit with the OB: October 13th, at 4:00pm.

Sea isn’t keen on the date.  It’s an older cousin’s birthday, for one.  And it will mean that some of Powerball’s birthdays fall on Friday the 13th.  But it’s the time that fit best into the OB’s schedule.  That’s how it goes, I’m realizing: some birthdays are about the end of a 40 week count, a hormonal shift, luck, fate, a full moon, whatever, and other birthdays are about what fit most neatly into a stranger’s calendar.

It occurred to me this morning, as I switched my own calendar from September to October (just in case I don’t make it back into the office next week), that Powerball’s scheduled due date means I am– without a doubt– in my last two weeks of this pregnancy.  Very likely my last two weeks of pregnancy ever.

It’s a strange kind of two week wait, with plenty in common with the one from 38 weeks ago.  There’s anticipation, anxiety, a desire to know exactly how things will play out.  There’s the over-analyzing of ever twinge and cramp, and the compulsive toilet paper checking.  There’s also an urgency that’s all its own.  I clean my desk, procrastinate on packing the hospital bag, try to make sure the cat food bowl is full, make plans that I may or may not keep, click “interested” but not “attending” on every Facebook event, count the days until my favourite midwife (Diet Coke) is back on call, insist that friends and family keep their phones on, and wait.  Just wait.

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Induction, Part 2 (or not).

Once again, as captured at the time.

7:59pm: We arrive back at the hospital, which is much less crowded than earlier.  The receptionist working the evening shift directs all of her questions towards Sea.  When she asks for insurance information and I hand her mine, she says “Oh, it’s you?”

8:57pm: I’m hooked up to the monitor again. I’m still cramping, muscles gripping in a way that reads (slightly) on the printed traces. The nurses are talking about food poisoning and heart attacks.

9:13pm: The nurse comes and reads the monitor’s printouts.  She tells us that the regular cramps are, in fact, contractions.  She’s pleased with this, but less pleased with the fact that Bingo seems to be sleeping.  She leaves and comes back with a styrofoam cup of too-sweet orange juice, which I drink/spill inelegantly down my front.

9:38pm: The doctor, the same doctor as before, comes to check my progress.  He looks at the recorded contractions, before doing a very uncomfortable, thorough internal exam.  I’m now apparently a fingertip dialated.  Contractions + dialation = enough progress to result in the cancellation of gel, round 2.  He summarizes: “Things are progressing… slowly.”  Sea and I are told to go home and come back either when labor picks up or at 10:30am, whichever comes first.

9:45pm: Sea and I are worried about the cancelling of gel, round 2.  On our way out we ask the doctor if he thinks labor will stop or progress overnight.  He tells us that he’s “impressed” with my progress, that earlier he had been sure more than one round of gel would be necessary, that labor could stop but that it’s more likely that it won’t.  Way to impress the doctor, Bingo!

So now we hurry up and wait, once again.  Our support people are on standby, and we’re home to try to sleep.  Contractions are coming frequently but not intensely.  We’ll see how much of the next 24 hours I can blog, but I expect they’re going to be big ones!